• Merisea

    It’s a big Tater Tot!

  • Tony_Morales

    You spin me right round, baby!
    Right round like a record, baby!
    Right round round round!

  • duheagle

    The IAU would never go for it, but that big boulder sticking out should hereafter be known as The Wart.

  • Bulldog

    The boulder is a really interesting feature. Given the low gravity, I wonder what the margin of gravitational attraction is vs. the centrifugal force due to Bennu’s spin rate? Is the boulder right at the margin where if it were more massive or the spin rate slightly higher it would be cast off into space? In any event it is a very cool video. These asteroid missions are fascinating.

  • AdmBenson

    So, to land on this thing, do you aim for one of the poles and match your roll to the rotation of the asteroid? Or, alternatively, get close, translate in the direction of the rotation, and then slam land when your relative velocity with the surface is near zero?

    Possibility #3: Pull a Captain Ahab, harpoon the asteroid, and then winch yourself to the surface.

    It’s kind of fun to think of this in terms of a manned mission. Even if you made it to the surface, would you have to hammer in some pitons to clip yourself to? Could you pull off a landing with just a MMU on your back? Inquiring minds want to try this themselves.

  • AdmBenson

    This suggests a NASA RFP for a reconfigurable asteroid trainer. They could put it in orbit near the ISS and let Astronauts practice rendezvous techniques with it. The fake Asteroid would have to have an adjustable size and surface configuration and also be controllable in all axes. 3D printing would be a neat thing to use, but I doubt it would be able to scale that large.

  • publiusr

    I wonder what it would take to launch that boulder off–for mining’s sake…